Looking for advice on an 18 month old

Ginny - posted on 08/15/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )




Hi Moms! I have two questions.

First thing:

My daughter is 18 months and used to have an excellent time falling asleep, but now it's a nightmare! Bed time is usually fine, but when nap time rolls around, she will just scream and cry in her crib. She either wants me in the room with her or she wants to fall asleep on me and rocked. As much as I love cuddling with her, I do not want that to be the only way she will fall asleep. Crying it out doesn't really seem to work and ive tried the walk in walk out method, but so far that only worked once. Also in the morning and when she wakes up from a nap she will usually scream until she is taken out of her crib. She is my first, so this is all new to me. Any suggestions on things that I can do and your experiences.

Second thing:

She used to be an excellent eater and would eat a ton, but now she hardly eats. I'm just worried because she has always been such a peanut but I don't I just want/have a fear of her to become TOO tiny. The pediatrician never worried about her weight because she has always went along with the curve on the chart. It's such a struggle to get her to eat some of the foods she used to devour. She is completely on table food and has been for a while. She used to eat anything I cooked, but now it's more of a struggle and will only eat a little bit at a time. I had called the pediatrician to talk to them about it and they gave me some advice, but also wanted to hear some mom's advice or experiences of their 18 month(or around) old's eating habits.

Thank you!


September - posted on 08/15/2011




1. She may not need to nap anymore. Or maybe you will need to continue to rock her for her naps. You won't have to rock her forever since I've never heard of a Mom having to rock their teenager to sleep lol! :) Sleeping patterns change and can continue to up until 3 years of age. Our son was an awesome sleeper until he was about 2. Then I would have to sit with him in his room every night until he would fall asleep. That lasted for about 2 months (of course I tried everything but sitting with him was the only thing that worked) and then he was back to sleep really well again. I'm pretty sure every child goes through sleeping well and not sleeping well, its part of growing up.

2. Our son also has gone through eating really well one day and then eats like a bird the next day, this too is normal. As long as your pediatrician is not concerned and she is growing, thriving, peeing and pooping then, personally I would not worry. Yesterday our son hardly ate a thing; today he's eating everything he can get his hands on! Our son’s always been on the smaller side too, but he continues to grow, thrive and is one happy loving little boy. Hang in there and just go with the flow, it will get better, and I know it’s not always easy! :)

Elizabeth - posted on 08/17/2011




My son is 21 months so I know what you are going through. To answer your first question: There really isn't a study backing up my theory, but I really think around 18 months, babies can start to dream. My son started to have night terrors and dream. Sometimes he would wake up and needed to be comforted before going back to sleep. It's a phase he went through and seems to have grown out of it now. He still has a few nights like that now but most nights he sleeps well. As far as refusing naps, could she be growing out of her naps? My son went from 2 naps down to 1 long one. As long as he sleeps 2-3 hours during the day, he's good to go.

It's also at this time the curiousity is getting stronger. She probably feels that she's going to miss something if she's sleeping and will fight it. My son never napped in his crib (although he'll sleep just fine in it at night), but instead naps in a toddler bouncy seat (you can find them at Target).

She also might be feeling some separation anxiety where she wants Mommy and gets scared when she doesn't see you when she wakes up. She'll grow out of this phase.

For your 2nd question: Toddlers get really picky with what they eat. That's just the way of life. My son ate everything under the sun too, and now he won't. Our pediatrician said to offer him food, and if he doesn't want it, don't push it. He'll eat when he's hungry. Right now we are on a pasta kick so I puree veggies into spaghetti sauce or make a pizza with wheat flatbread (like pita), spaghetti sauce with veggies, and cheese. He gobbles it up. Her tastes buds are changing and she's starting to be able to taste things a lot better. Some days she won't eat a lot, and some days she'll eat more.

This to me is one of the toughest requirements of being a parent: having to stay one step ahead of them. Good luck and remember you aren't the only one out there!

Tara - posted on 08/15/2011




1. Play with the time she has a nap, try a little earlier than normal and see what happens, perhaps she is tiring out earlier and just getting too tired. Or try later and see if that works, however she may have trouble going to sleep in the evening. If neither of those make a difference I agree that she may be giving up her nap, but it also may be temporary. It's possible that her brain is very active right now, she is learning so much all the time that her sleep center isn't as active, other areas of her brain are firing so much that the need for day time sleep is just not top priority for her brain right now, she may start taking them again one day.

2. Food.
Let her eat what she wants, when she wants it.
Honestly, I have 6 kids, oldest will be 18 next Wednesday and the youngest is 20 months.
They will not starve themselves, they will eat what their bodies need.
All my kids went through a food thing between 18 months and 2ish. It's the age of independence. They are now aware that they are a separate entity from you and can control things about themselves. Including what and how much and when they eat. As well as whether they like something or not, which for toddlers is more determined by mood than actual taste preference, lol.
Relax is my absolute best advice here. Any pressure from you on her about food will only set you up for a long course of battles about food.
Provide lots of healthy snacks available, prepare meals you think she likes, if she doesn't eat them, offer the healthy snacks.
Remember up until now, YOU were in control of what, when and how much she ate, now she does that herself, so she isn't going to do things your way, she's not you, she is her own person with her own tastes etc. let her enjoy food, let her explore her own preference for textures, smells, tastes etc.
:)Good Luck!

[deleted account]

My son decided at around 18 months that he didn't want nap (he is 21 months) he did the same as your daughter and started fighting against me at nap time, so I played with the times I gave him a nap, I found that he would nap at 3 ish but then wouldn't go to bed at night so we just stopped napping. Now my son usually just has some quiet time in the afternoon but occasionally will snuggle up to me for a nap if he is really tired, I don't have a problem with this and let him do what he needs.

With the food my son is like Septembers, sometimes he'll eat like a horse other days he'll eat hardly anything, some days he'll eat a food others he won't. I always provide him with meals if he eats them great, if not he gets no snacks until the next mealtime, if he wants to eat he has the meal he didn't eat. I try and make sure there is something I know he likes on every meal and I don't expect him to eat it all, just try to eat some of it (for example my son isn't a big fan of bread and often just eats/ licks off the filling of sandwiches and leaves the bread, I still give him the bread Because he sometimes eats it.

At this age children are realising they can impact their environment and can have a say, set boundaries for what you will and won't accept, stick by them and try not to worry. Don't force food on your child though because that can do far more damage than good and is counter productive just keep putting different void in front of them (always with something they like).


View replies by

Joanna - posted on 08/18/2011




My daughter is scared of the dark she's 16 months she would scream and cry for me to take her out of her crib so I put a nightlight in her room and she has been fine ever since

Ginny - posted on 08/15/2011




You all gave such great advice! That's exactly what the pediatrician said about the food, and that's what I've been doing. We eat pretty healthy, and have to be thankful that she still loves her veggies and fruits. Tara I like what you said about relaxing...I definitely over worry sometimes :-) She is a very smart, happy, and healthy kid so I guess I just need to relax more about her eating. I definitely do notice that she seems to eat better when I don't worry as much. Thank you all for the great advice!

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